Orange County residents want the government to take a more active role in gun control, contrary to the congressional voting positions of NRA-endorsed congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine).
A striking 71 percent of respondents say “the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns,” according to a new Chapman University poll first reported in the Orange County Register.
Rohrabacher and Walters have voted to weaken gun regulations at every single opportunity. Both went so far as to make it easier for people with certain mental illnesses to purchase a gun.Both continue to accept thousands of dollars from the pro-gun lobby, and both earned their endorsement from the NRA.
Last election, Walters bragged about her NRA endorsement. But when confronted by a constituent who simply asked if she would continue to accept campaign donations from the group, Walters quickly fled, refusing to answer the question.
In addition to the issue of guns, O.C. residents are much more concerned about the environment than Rohrabacher and Walters. Roughly 4 in 5 residents say the threat of climate change is “somewhat” or “very” serious. And residents strongly favor environmental laws and regulations, by a 2-to-1 margin.
Yet both lawmakers strongly support anti-environmental issues, such as increasing the number of oil rigs off the coast of California.
Rohrabacher is a staunch supporter of more offshore oil drilling, and has been for years, and applauded Trump administration efforts to drill off California’s coast. He has long lambasted “environmental radicals,” who he blames for preventing additional offshore drilling.
Walters, who has a dismal 4 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), signed a letter supporting more offshore drilling efforts. In less than two full terms in Congress, Walters has racked up more than 100 anti-environment votes, according to LCV.
The poll shows Orange County voters shifting toward more moderate-left positions, according to the poll authors. Along with other polling information, it is no wonder Republicans from Washington, D.C., rushed to open a field office in the area. Republican congressmen Darrell Issa and Ed Royce already resigned rather than face voters, and both Rohrabacher and Walters are facing a strong Democratic headwind.
The fact that Rohrabacher and Walters are increasingly out of touch with residents in Orange County isn’t helping them.
Rohrabacher’s anti-immigrant rants show a lack of concern for the changing demographics of his own district. “Orange County is changing,” says Fred Smoller, lead researcher for the poll. “It’s more young, more Latino and more Asian.”
Walters hasn’t held a town hall in the district in more than 540 days. She’ll make time in her schedule to wine and dine with Paul Ryan and high-priced political consultants, but she flees her own constituents.
Maybe if either spent more time listening to the concerns of their constituents, they wouldn’t be on the wrong side of so many issues.